Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Tag: business

Metadata is the biggest little problem plaguing the music industry

It’s bad enough that music is missing the richness of metadata to give listeners context and background for recordings (streaming services don’t even come with high-res original artwork, for crying out loud) but when it means the artists themselves aren’t even getting paid? Well, we shouldn’t be so surprised; the music industry hasn’t been about supporting its artists for many years, if it ever was. #link


The spectacular power of Big Lens

There’s a lot to unpack here: the portrait of Luxottica's founder as the Vince McMahon of the spectacle frame world; rising rates of myopia tied to lack of sunlight and tech-related dopamine hits; the world at the mercy of an optics giant that “can choose to interpret its mission more or less however it wants”. #link


The Weird Science Behind Chain Restaurant Menus

It’s not all that weird, unless you were naive enough to think your favourite mom-and-pop-feeling chain wasn’t decided upon down to the last detail. Maybe it also feels uncomfortable to think of oneself as an individual while at the same time fitting a little too neatly into a brand’s demographic classification, like a negation of individuality? No sweat; it’s as much in their heads as it is in yours. And I’d be more worried about Facebook doing it than a ‘fast casual dining experience’. #link


The Guardian on the UK’s recent hummus ‘crisis’

Highlighting the actually not-so-secret world of mass food production, and product manufacturing in general. Streamlining is cheaper, hence single producers are contracted by various brands and chains to supply their needs. They’ve been doing it for decades. (That branded thing you like? There’s probably an own-brand equivalent that is literally the same product.) But there’s a cost for this efficiency, whether relatively benign (like ‘metallic-tasting’ hummus) or more significant from a public health standpoint (see the horse meat scandal, which was really about not knowing what was in the food, rather than that thing being horse meat). #link


Poynter: Burned once, publishers are wary of Medium’s new subscription offering

Sigh. ‘Pivoting’ is great for start-ups and VCs, who must believe it’s a virtue to be so nimble. It’s not so good for their employees or contractors, those who supply the necessary labour, who can’t possibly be expected to follow suit. And it’s all in the service of an ad market that doesn’t have a metric for (and therefore, doesn’t understand) the way advertising works now. [c/o Kottke.org] #link